PS4 Spider-Man Review (As a New Yorker)


Nana-nana-nana… Spider-Man! Recently released PS4 exclusive Spider-Man has gotten the internet raving about it’s newest edition to the Superhero video game genre. But has Insomniac Games captured the essence that is web-swinging? With reviews circulating the internet I thought the best way to provide an authentic review, is to review it in my alter ego persona, Donny the Don: Professional New Yorker Extraordinaire! (Side note, I’ve never been to New York)


Hey! I’m Swingin’ Here!

Hello, Donny the Don here, hows it going? Yeah I’m taking over, big whoop. Right off the bat I’d like to say that the swinging in this game is incredible. Nothin’ like tellin’ the cabs to “screw off” like traveling via web-powers!

Insomniac Games has created an incredible web-swinging mechanic dat’ redefines and adds on top of an already engaging experience. Much like Spider-Man 2 (the game), webs attach to actual structures in game like my own motha’ inviting herself over to my place for cannoli.

Would you like to swing ‘round a corner by attaching yourself to a radio tower?… YOU CAN! Want to dive-bomb and web-zip at the last second before splatting on the ground like a pizza delivered after 30 minutes? You bet!

Want to swing up higher than the buildings and attach to clouds? FORGET ABOUT IT! What are you a wise-guy!?


Why I ‘Oughta!

Aye, what does Spider-Man got to do to get respect ‘round here, eh!? The combat system is reminiscent of the Batman Arkham video game series. An interweaving (see what I did there?) of attack-dodge and gadgetry.

Gadgets range from web-grenades to spider-drones (Spider-Man is officially a Millennial). The fighting is where da’ game really shines like a street performer in the subway. Aye, you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do.


Your Mudda Dresses Yous’ Funny!

If all of you’s want to be da’ Spider-Man… then you’s got to dress the part! The game offers you’s the opportunity to not only wear the original design created by Insomniac Games for Spider-Man, but up to 27 different costumes (as of the time of this article).

Some are call backs to classic Spider-Man Comics, Films, Alternate Dimensions, and a couple of surprising ones dat’ I wont dare spoil. That’s a lot of different choices there for you’s tough guys, eh?


Are You Talkin’ ta Me?

Whoever was leading the Story/Dialog and Facial Animation of this Game deserves our fricken’ respect! Cutscenes are at peak performance and are the optitomy of story driven prestige.

All ‘dat fancy mambo jumbo just means ‘dat when they talkin’ to you’s, all of you’s listen alright? Don’t make me get wound-up like traffic going over the Brooklyn Bridge!

Some surprising cameo’s from classic Spider-Man villains and alternate universes find a way to make guest appearances in da’ game. Several times I found myself chuckling wit’ glee as I witnessed call backs to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movie, or a certain collectible dat’ was referencing da’ very first Spider-Man comic!


I Swear Officer… Dey’ were Webbed Up When I Got Here!

Overall da’ game is a wonder to behold and is added to my personal list of “Best Games of the Year.” Spider-Man PS4 by Insomniac Games swings in at a cool 9/10 for great story-line, better game play, and the best Web-Swinging in a Spider-Man game yet!

Were you as excited for this game as much as I was? What was your experience with the game? Let us know in the comment section below and for all of your Super Vigilante needs, keep it locked to KSSU.com.

Discover & Download


This segment is a special article on new music and artists to check out. I will feature submissions and artists that we have on circulation at Sacramento State’s student-run radio KSSU.com. This post will focus on Acid Dad, Fine China, and The Rubens.

Acid Dad:

Acid Dad consists of Kevin Walker (Drums), Sean Fahey (Guitar/Vox), JP Basileo (Bass) and Vaughn Hunt (Guitar/Vox). The upstate New York quartet delivers a Psychedelic Indie Rock sound with Punk elements in their music. Acid Dad’s self-titled release features some amazing music with conflicting sounds. The music starts out aggressive and changes style halfway through. It almost feels as if there were two EPs combined together. Overall the music is great and songs like 2Ci show the indie mellow vibe, while songs like Mistress show that indie punk aggressive sound. Some similar artist styles include Las Rosas, Ty Segal, Tame Impala, and King Tuff.

Fine China:

Fine China offers a nice indie rock sound that uses elements of 80’s pop and modern indie sound. The band is comprised of three members Thom Walsh (Drummer), Greg Markov (Bassist), and Rob Withem (Keyboardist/Vocals). The band originates from Phoenix, AZ. Songs like The Hymnal 1982 offer elements of dreamy synths and aggressive chords that work well together. Then you have songs such as Iron is Your Love, which showcases their 80’s indie rock tendencies.

The Rubens: 

The Rubens is comprised of band members Sam Margin (lead vocals), Elliot Margin (Keyboards), Izaak Margin(Guitar), Scott Baldwin( Drums), and William Zeglis (Bass). Yes, they are brothers and close friends hailing from Australia. The Million Man EP features previously released tracks such as the hit My Gun which has that alternative rock sound that features many elements of aggressive bass and guitar with soft pop vocals. The band plans to continue on their successful momentum to release a full-length album following the Million Man EP. Songs like Hoops give a good taste of the Rubens band we love and enjoy. The songs have that bass and keyboard synth that give emotion to the vocals. If you’re a fan of  The Black Keys and Cage the Elephant, then you will enjoy this band very much.

///RaspadoPapi

The Weeknd: My Dear Melancholy,


The Weeknd just dropped his latest musical project titled My Dear Melancholy, which comes out just in time for his headlining performance at Coachella weekend. The EP’s title shows a possible message towards Tesfaye’s former lover Selena Gomez, with whom Tesfaye had a tumultuous relationship. There are many points being made that the title of songs, the lyrics, and the timing of the release refer to Selena Gomez.

This latest release shows a change from the more pop-centric sounds that we are known to hear from The Weeknd, yet keeps the style seen on Starboy. The sound, in general, keeps a darker R & B sound while keeping a similar style to the Daft Punk produced tracks.

The opening song Call Out My Name sets the tone with lyrics such as “I helped you out of a broken place,” which is possibly a reference to former girlfriend Gomez dealing with a breakup and dealing with Lupus. Then goes on to say “Falling for you was my mistake” which reflects the hurt that The Weeknd felt. The song is currently number 4 on the Billboards top 100.

Tracks like Hurt You have a similar sound to Starboys’ I Feel It Coming and it makes sense. Gessalfelstein and Daft Punk are often collaborators in music, we noticed this in the production credits for YEEZUS album. The sound seems like a transition from The latest album and Tesfaye’s first mixtape.

Every track from the EP is charting on the Billboard top 100 and there is no doubt as to why. Every song delivers a hit with a range of emotions such as regret, anger, sadness, and acceptance.  The production speaks as much as Tesfaye’s words and the credits on this EP include Mike Will Made it, Skrillex, Guy Manuel (Daft Punk), Nicolas Jaar, Frank Dukes, and Gesalfellstein.

 

///BIGTAPATIO

Bay Nite: Event Review


The new Bay Area rave Bay Nites recently occurred on March 31st in San Francisco’s famous Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The event had a bit of everything from Rap to Electronic Dance Music. The venue lacked any real parking structures and San Francisco offered little to nothing of available street parking, but going into San Francisco I wasn’t expecting much in terms of parking. As I entered the venue and scoped out my surroundings, I noticed the mixture of attendees from Hip Hop heads to full on Rave goers. The diversity in demographics showed that these events thrown by Insomniac have something for everyone and inclusive of all people. This is something that Insomniac productions have done across the board from Electric Daisy Carnival to all smaller events.

YEHME2 went up and just killed his set. Formerly a member of the famous Flosstradamus duo, YEHME2 played new music and some classics from his earlier Flosstradamus days such as Roll Up and the many rare remixes that many don’t know about. The set featured a lot of Rap, Trap style EDM, and even The Beatles.

The next set was JOYRYDE who brought that European sound of Garage House, Bass House, RIDDIM (Fancy word for Dubstep) and even some classic Electro. His performance definitely woke everyone up and we even got some explosions that were synchronized with the music’ bass drops.

Lil Yachty took awhile to come out but that didn’t matter because Lil Yachtys’ DJ was dropping a mini set that got the crowd going crazy by playing songs by tons of currently trending songs. Lil Yachty performed all his hits and new songs off his new album Lil Boat 2 and the crowd went crazy. Lil Yachty then had his entourage throw over a hundred water bottles in the crowd and when the Bass Dropped, instructed everyone to toss the water in the air. It was literally one of the most “LIT” moments of the night and showed us how great a performer Lil Yachty and his DJ are.

The performance I was most excited for was NAV, who is a member of the XOXO label headed by The Weeknd. The performance was amazing because NAV played his songs and songs he was featured on. At one moment Nav asked if anyone was a fan from the beginning and then went to play one of his first songs titled Fell In Love, which is a love song about California and particularly Los Angeles and The San Francisco Bay.

The last performance was by Los Angeles native DJ SAYMYNAME and he brought that heavy hardstyle music mixed in with Rap and Trap. The performance was the last one of the night but it showed no sign of stopping. The crowd was still there until the end of his set and it was one of the most aggressive sets the whole night. A memorable moment is when SAYMYNAME dropped A$AP Ferg’s Work remix.

Overall the night was epic with a great lineup. I went in with an open mind and the performances I was least excited for were probably the ones I enjoyed the most. Till next time…

 

///BIGTAPATIO

March Mania | KSSU Picks


Recently, CHVRCHES released a cover of The 1975’s “Somebody Else” BBC Radio 1’s “Live Lounge”! We totally love this cover and it evokes the same kind of emotion that The 1975 have when performing the song. Head on over to BBC 1’s website and skip to about 2:10:25 to hear the track!

Altered Carbon is an ambitious sci-fi, Bladerunner themed movie. It explores the future without the possibility of death and income inequalities in a dramatized way. Many found this series an underwhelming introduction to Netflix’s sci-fi category. Although we see a lot of potential! It starts off very ambiguous and hooks you until you’re obsessed and eventually have to keep watching to find out what happens next. If you have Netflix, you’re in luck!

Beach House’s has been teasing their new album with two new singles! We love their sound and how they always stay super authentic. They’ve been true to their sound and themes since the beginning. We can always count on Beach House to have the dream pop anthems of the year and be consistent with their releases! The track list for their upcoming album 7 has been released along with a full U.S. tour. Make sure to grab your tickets for the 2nd Bay Area show before they sell out! Listen to their new singles “Lemon Glow” and “Dive”, out everywhere now.

Another Round Podcast with Heben & Tracy covers everything in the media, as well gender, race pop culture from the perspective of Black women! They’re hilarious and incredibly vulnerable and sensitive! They talk about the normalization of mental health awareness in Black families and give people a voice that normally wouldn’t have one. Listen on iTunes podcast app or on Buzzfeed now.

Icarus is a documentary about the doping of athletes and the history behind it. Filmmaker and cyclist Bryan Fogel sets out to endure a huge scandal in the cycling world. He goes to great lengths to uncover a story of personal experiments, unexplained deaths and Olympic gold medals. Watch on Netflix now!

CUCO @ Sacramento State


Unique Programs really stepped up their game with their recently announced show with CUCO at Sacramento State on Thursday, April 26. The artist known as CUCO is from a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles known as Hawthorne. His upbringing in Los Angeles has led to major influences in his style of music. CUCO is an artist that blends Future R&B, Indie Rock, and Spanish lyrics all in one style unique (no pun intended) to his upbringing. These influences seem like they would clash but actually compliment his style. The use of Ableton production software and bilingual lyrics help him to create these amazing songs of love, sadness, and infatuation that clearly reflect a style of the Indie culture associated with Los Angeles.

 

CUCO is probably most famous for his hit song Lo Que Siento, a bilingual love ballad that is a gaze of a daydream of young love and infatuation with a special girl he’s in love with. The song features elements of very dazed out synths and sing-a-long lyrics that everyone can get down with singing. Lyrics such as “Oye Carino solo pienso en ti” its hard not to dedicate this to that special someone in your life just for the well thought out and contemplative lyrics.

 

CUCO has other follow up hits such as Lover Is a Day and One and Only, which show his range in different sounds, but consistently staying his own style. Again, the lyrics are deeply reflective of friendship and pursuance of love and happiness. We see through his lyrics that ultimately the message is playful and youthful love and affection of another.

With over millions of plays on his SoundCloud and his Spotify profiles, we see that CUCO is fastly rising in success and popularity and it will only continue to grow as CUCO makes appearances on many youtube and radio outlets across the coast.

Make sure to pick up your tickets as they become available and check out the Facebook page [Here].

 

///VICTOR

Introducing: Metropolis Festival


Sacramento isn’t known as the haven for electronic music, but times have been changing. San Francisco isn’t the only place in Northern California for forward-thinking Electronic Dance Music. The events production company Torque has been expanding its reach and is producing the highly anticipated event, Metropolis. The lineup includes Funtcase, Gentlemen’s Club, Ray Volpe, and many more supporting acts. The sound of the nights will be bass music driven and offer an immersive electronic music festival experience. The Metropolis music festival will be taking place March 9-10 at Sacramento’s CWH Center, which features free water stations, full bars, and 21+ VIP sections. Make sure you buy tickets [here]

 

Check out some of the music you can expect to here below:

The lineup is extremely bass driven and the sound will be heavy. One can definitely expect dancing but also a good amount of mosh pits. Funtcase, a UK producer will be leading the assault of bass on your ears and we can even expect to hear Drum N’ Bass and possibly a heavy rock song thrown into the mix. MUST DIE! is another act that has heavy dubstep with the heavy screeches and even heavier bass drops. MUST DIE! isn’t just all dubstep but has been known to drop some bouncy and fun bass house tracks that get the floor dancing. Even the supporting acts have quality tracks and mixes, that this lineup is so stacked and will be an amazing lineup from start to finish.

Thanks to events like this, we will see a prospering music scene in Sacramento that wasn’t here a few years ago. We can expect to see more events by Torque and others that are sure to make Sacramento a powerhouse for not just music, but more specifically Electronic music such as Riddim, Dubstep, House, and future bass. I look forward to being a part of this growing scene and I hope you do as well! See you there in March!

 

///VICTOR

Insomniac presents: Bay Nites


Insomniac is no stranger to throwing the most insane shows to ever happen. Just as reference, Insomniac produces Electronic Daisy Carnival, Escape from Wonderland, and even Nocturnal. Insomniac is predominantly based in Los Angeles and has been producing club night events for years. San Francisco has seen an increase in events by Insomniac and this new event, Bay Nites, is no weakling to its sister events. The Bay Nites lineup is just stacked.

As we see the direction of Electronic Dance Music move towards more of a hip-hop influence, it only made sense for this lineup to feature rappers as well as heavy trap DJs. Lil Yachty of “Broccoli” fame and NAV, who is a member of XOXO record label headed by The Weeknd. Then the supporting DJs include YEHME2, a former member of Flosstradamus, who without a doubt had a huge influence on bringing trap to the forefront. He’s the godfather of trap music or trap-father.

Then you have SAYMYNAME, the self-proclaimed godfather of hard-trap, a hybrid of hardstyle and trap music. The event takes place Saturday, March 31st at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The event is 18+ and tickets are selling fast. You can buy tickets  [here]

Check out some of the tunes you can expect to hear:

 

 

This event really does have everything and I even bought my own tickets because this is a must-attend event. The amount of trap, bass, and vibes that will be experienced will be unique. My top picks include NAV, who has produced many of your favorite rap songs and is having a skyrocketing career with hit songs with LIL UZI VERT. Then you have YEHME2, who I believed always kept Flosstradamus raw in their sound and now that he’s on his own production wise, it’s hard to not be excited for his releases which have been fire.

 

///VICTOR

Favorite February Finds!


A couple of our favorites from everyone at KSSU! Ranging from podcasts, tv shows, books and new albums! We hope you find your new Spring obsession!

First on the list is Porches’ new album The House that was released recently. During many of the introductions of the songs, he had a very 2000’s techno vibe but throughout every song it evolved into melodic lyrics and music that fits every occasion.

Dear Sugars, a podcast produced by New York Times is hosted by two people Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. Their mission is be radically empathetic and give advice to be in troubling situations.

Season 4 of Grace & Frankie, a Netflix original about two women in their 70’s that are accepting the trials and tribulations of growing old. I won’t give any spoilers but you’ll be laughing and crying throughout the whole show. Go binge now!

South & West by Joan Didion is a series of entries when world renowned journalist, writer and native Sacramentan traveled to the South in 1970. Originally all of notes and information was written in her notebook at the time and eventually her experiences were published. It’s a really telling story about the difference between the culture and habits of the West (California) and the South.

The Shannara Chronicles is a fictional show that follows heroes in the Four Lands as they embark on a quest to stop an evil Demon army from destroying the universe. Austin Butler (you may have seen him in The Bling Ring or Carrie Diaries) stars in it as a half-Elf alongside some amazing women! Watch this show if you want to get hooked on a new fictional mystery!

Glossier is a cruelty free and mostly vegan company that specializes in skincare and minimal makeup products. They have saved my life and are so inclusive with their products. Click the link if you want to be inspired and never go back to other beauty brands.

Majid Jordan : The Space Between [Album Review]


Majid_jordan_the_space_between

Majid Jordan is one of the rising acts from Octobers Very Own music label. The label is headed by Drake, Noah “40” Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib. The roster includes such names as PARTYNEXTDOOR and Roy Woods. The roster is full of heavy hitters who specialized mostly in Hip-Hop and RnB. Majid Jordan is compromised of Majid Al-Maskati and Jordan Ullman. The duo was known for their atmospheric and darker tones of RnB. The basslines and smooth vocals usually float really well and have given Majid Jordan a unique sound.

Their sophomore album The Space Between features a more pop and spatial sound than their previous releases. The album features mostly productions by Jordan Ullman with a track featuring in-house producer nineteen85 but also features PARTYNEXTDOOR and DVSN. The sound is very spacious with deep percussions and smooth basslines.

Tracks like “Gave your love away” was featured on OVO’s radio station previous to the release and it was a much-needed hype to the album release. The smooth melodic vocals, deep rhythms, and smooth sounds make this a standout on the album. Then you have songs like “Body Talk” that features a Dembow percussive rhythm heard in reggeaton or dancehall. The song itself creates a slow and intimate vibe that increases pace as the song progresses. The perfect song for a slow dance with a lover. There is no doubt that “One I Want” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR is the single that will be a commercial success. The song features a slow bounce synth and soft bass kicks; then you have PARTYNEXTDOOR singing the chorus and opening verse. Majid eventually compliments the first verse with his and amplifies the song with his ability to hit high notes. A clear love song that has everything for a pop RnB song.

Support from label mate DVSN on “My Imagination” give a simplified and yet complex song of spatial synths and bouncy percussions that compliment the singers’ smooth vocals throughout the song. Overall the album is an evolution of Majid Jordans’ sound and shows some growth. The lack of features from labelmates suggests that Majid Jordan is ready to make their own way out of the shadows of Drake and Noah Shebib. They create their own unique sound that complimentary reflects OVO’s sad boy RnB sound.  There is much growth in their latest project, but could their sound maintain this continuous evolution that reflects spatial sound and lyrics that reflect introverted thoughts? The album is not a party anthem album; it’s not even really a single loaded album. It’s an album with a theme that correlates to each continuous track that could stand alone on its own accord, but you wouldn’t want to do that. You want to start from beginning to end and go through this journey of emotions, thoughts, and reflections that are present throughout the album.

 

 

///Victor